New beginnings, old endings, secrets secreting, 2019-20
unique pigmented prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 10 x 8 to 40 x 32 inches
This work delves into the worlds of photo manipulation and machine vision. I used my past work “Color, Balance” and scraped social media portraits as data set to train a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to create new images. The result of this process is the base for new paintings I further alter in Photoshop. The works I create have a soft haunting quality to them and are self-portraits as much as images of others. Titles such as “Distance is the new intimacy” and “I worry lines away #1” point towards disconnects between social media, self-perception and image altering techniques.
Computer scientists often refer to early neural network images as ‘dreams’ due to their soft surreal-like quality. Considered a stepping stone in the search for artificial intelligence, hopes and fears surrounding these technologies attach themselves to ideas larger than any individual advance.
The subject prompts consideration of my dreams and nightmares; real and imagined, small and large, wholesome, and vapid. I pair each work with a specific hope or fear of my own. These imbued feelings are bits of my unseen character and help shape each work. In many ways AI feels like an erasure of the self. Already, technology causes feelings of alienation, effacement and rising division. As artists, the medium can feel larger than our ability to wield it. No creative act can thwart the disconnect social technologies create. We can use the technology to bring attention to its effects, though, which is what I try to do with my work.